Tuesday, February 10, 2009

He's just not that into you

In what appears to be an emerging genre of inimitably creepy and pathetic leader-worship, The Guardian's Anna Shapiro writes -- apparently without any self-awareness -- about her experience of waking up in the middle of the night and wondering what America's new godhead is up to (a followup to New York Times blogger Judith Warner's similarly unaware post last week on Obama as sad and lonely middle-aged woman's sexual fantasy). Here's Shaprio in all her beyond-parody goodness, bemoaning the mean old press corps for having the temerity to question her unrequited love the new president as if he were some sort of . . . politician:
I tell myself it's just the hurly-burly of politics. I tell myself he's a strong guy; he can take it. I tell myself it's just the worst aspect of journalism, always manufacturing controversy and matters to deplore, and that it will be here today and gone tomorrow. But I identify with Obama's need to heal rifts, and so it tears me apart: all this tearing apart. Hasn't he got enough troubles? Must he part the Red Sea?

But it's more personal, and at least as preoccupying as my friend Mark's former arguments. I wake up at 4am and wonder if Obama is awake at 4am. I wonder how he decides what to do first and what to do second and what to do third. I wonder when he gets to read, and if there will be time for anything besides policy papers. I want to take care of him. And I realise that started as far back as the first time I saw him on a platform in front of a crowd of people.
Comparisons to George Orwell's 1984 have become a little stale since the Bush administration decided to treat the book as more of a policy paper than as an indictment of totalitarianism, but the peans to the head of state are worthy of Winston Smith's Oceania, suggesting significant segments of both major parties' rank-and-file are willing to suspend rational thought and unquestioningly follow the leader so long as their team is in charge.

When grown adults are stating publicly and without embarrassment their concern that the most powerful man in the world -- a man that earns close to half a million dollars a year; possesses a fleet of helicopters, planes, cars, servants, cooks and doctors; and, as demonstrated by his predecessor, has the freedom to vacation three months a year -- might not have enough free time to sit down and enjoy a Reader's Digest, that strikes me as one hell of a P.R.-coup. Big Brother would be jealous.


  1. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Ugh, Judith Warner's post was so bad!

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